Healthy Hormones

The 9 Best Osteoporosis Natural Treatments

Osteoporosis is a serious medical condition that is unfortunately getting more common.  

There are several medications available for the treatment of osteoporosis, but they have some potentially very serious side effects.

So what are some non-prescription things that you can do to strengthen your bones to treat or prevent any bone loss that you may be having?

In this article I will discuss the 9 best natural treatments for osteoporosis and discuss the research behind each one of them.

Let's get started...


What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition where a person loses bone mass.  It is either due to losing too much bone or not making enough bone.

Bone is living tissue.  It is constantly being broken down and replaced.  When it is getting broken down faster than it is being made, the bones will gradually become weaker which makes it easier for them to fracture even with normal daily activities.

Unfortunately, osteoporosis is extremely common and is becoming more prevalent.

1 in 7 women over 50 have osteoporosis.  About 25% of women over age 65 have osteoporosis of either the hip or lumbar spine.  About 5% of men over age 65 have osteoporosis.

About half all women and 1 out of every 4 men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.

This is a very serious issue, because after a hip or vertebral fracture, mortality is much higher in those people than in the general population even as late as 10 years after the fracture!

Most of those deaths are not directly due to the fracture.  Instead, the fracture is an indicator of a decline in the health of that person and often leads to other conditions that result in death.

How to Diagnose Osteoporosis

The density of a bone is measured using a machine called a DEXA scan (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry).  There are other tests that are used, but the DEXA is considered to be the gold standard.

In this test, 2 x-ray beams are shot through 2 different bones in the body (usually a hip and the lumbar spine).  The more dense the bone, the less the x-ray will be able to penetrate.  The machine is then able to measure the degree of penetration.

A DEXA scan will give you a T-score and a Z-score for each bone that was tested.

Without going into a boring statistics lecture, I will try to explain what these test scores mean.  

Whenever you look at a characteristic found in a large population of people, the results will follow a predictable distribution across a graph.

If you place the values on a graph, it will produce what is commonly called a Bell Curve.

This is true when you measure bone densities as well.  However, in this case the positive side of the graph is ignored and only the negative side is considered.

The middle (mean) of the bell curve is the bone density of a healthy 30 year old female, which is the time when the bone density is at it highest point.

The T-score is how many standard deviations from the mean (or middle of the graph) the tested bone scored. The Z-score compares your bone density to a normal score for a person of your same age and body size.

The diagnosis of osteoporosis is made when the T-score is less than or equal to -2.5, which is way over on the far left of the bell curve.  That means the density of the bone tested is less than the bone density of 95% of the population!

If the T-score is -1.0 to -2.4, the diagnosis of osteopenia is made.  While not considered to be as dangerous as osteoporosis, it still indicates that the person is losing bone mass, especially the lower the T-score.  Those patients should be monitored closely and proactive measures should be taken to reduce any further bone loss.

Treatment of Osteoporosis

Okay, so you've had a DEXA scan and your T-score is in the osteoporosis range.

Now what?

Your doctor will probably recommend that you start taking a medication called a bisphosphonate. However, when you get home and read the package insert that came with the medication, what you read may scare you to death!

These medications are far from benign.  The potential side effects range from mild to life-threatening. They include:

While this class of drugs has been shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures, that reduction might come at a cost.  Needless to say, it would be best if this class of medications was avoided completely.  

I believe there are several things that you can do that are natural and much safer than these drugs.

Let's discuss the best ones below:

The 9 Best Osteoporosis Natural Treatments

If you ask your doctor what is the best way to keep your bones strong, he or she will most likely say something like this:  "Eat good, healthy foods and exercise regularly."

That is good, sound advice for just about everyone.  However, it is hard to get enough of some nutrients from food, even if you are eating a whole food, nutrient-dense diet.

Because of over-farming, genetic engineering, etc., the nutritional value of food simply isn't what it used to be.  Even if you are eating a purely organic diet, you will probably be deficient in some nutrients.

This is especially true if you have any digestive or other gastrointestinal issues, which can impair the absorption of what nutrients are in your food.

So what can you do to keep your bones strong and help regain bone loss if your DEXA scan shows you have osteoporosis or severe osteopenia?

1.  Weight-bearing Exercise

The first thing that I recommend for all patients with osteoporosis is to participate in weight-bearing exercise on a regular basis.

This includes walking, jogging, dancing, using an elliptical, stair climbing, gardening, etc.

This type of exercise puts a direct burden on the bones and muscles of the lower body which helps to slow mineral loss.

Studies show that this can beneficial for people with osteoporosis:

- Weight bearing exercise increases both bone density and quality of life.

- Walking has been shown to preserve bone density in the hip.

- Jogging and weight lifting reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women.

Other exercises such as biking and swimming are great for cardiovascular health, but they are not beneficial for strengthening bones.

2.  Vitamin D

Vitamin D has many functions in the body, including the regulation of calcium and phosphorous absorption.

If vitamin D is low, parathyroid hormone (PTH) increases and triggers osteoclasts to release calcium into the blood via bone reabsorption. Over time, this can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis.

Vitamin D also stimulates intestinal epithelial cells to synthesize calcium-binding proteins that support the absorption of calcium in the blood.

Vitamin D increases the number and activity of osteoblasts (the cells that build bone) and reduces the activity of osteoclasts (the cells that break down bone).

Vitamin D is synthesized when sunlight hits the skin.

Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as an epidemic.

Experts state that 75% of population is deficient in vitamin D. When using the goal of 50-80, that number goes to about 95%.

Deficiency is more common in dark-skinned people, the elderly, and people from the north.

You can determine if you are low in vitamin D by asking your doctor to order a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D level with your next blood work.

The "normal range" for a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D is 30-100 ng/ml, but it is optimal to have it in the 50-80 range.

So what can you do about it?

Good dietary sources of vitamin D - fatty fish (salmon, mackerel and tuna), dairy products (if you aren't sensitive), eggs, and shiitake mushrooms.

In my experience, the majority of people will need to take a vitamin D supplement to get the levels in the optimal range.  

A study published in JAMA in 2013 showed that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of fractures by 16%.

Vitamin D3 is the best supplementation of choice to increase your vitamin D level.  Click here for my preferred brand.

If your 25-hydroxy-vitamin D level is <30 ng/mL, I typically recommend that you take 10,000 iu (2 capsules) of the ADK daily for 90 days then reduce it to 5000 iu (1 capsule) daily after 90 days.  If your level is >30 but <50, I recommend only taking 1 capsule daily (5000 iu).

You may notice that my recommended amounts are WAY higher than the recommended daily amount (RDA) given by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2011.  They state that everyone should aim for a 25-OH-vitamin D level of 20 ng/ml, which would equate to taking 600 iu of vitamin D3 daily (800 iu daily if you are over age 70).

If you are interested (and are a statistics nerd!), click on this link.  It is a website by Keith Baggerly, PhD, who will show how the IOM made a mathematical error in their calculations when they determined the RDA for vitamin D.

Dr. Baggerly showed that the actual amounts of vitamin D3 needed are 10x that amount!  In other words, most people under age 70 need about 6000 iu of vitamin D3 daily, while people over age 70 need about 8000 iu daily.

Please note that for vitamin D to work properly, it is just as important that the vitamin K2 and magnesium levels are optimal as well.  I will discuss each of these nutrients below.

3.  Magnesium

Magnesium is important for building bone, absorbing calcium, and forming ATP.  It also serves as a cofactor in the production of vitamin D in the skin.

It is estimated that 75% of the population is deficient in magnesium.

Low levels of magnesium in the blood correlates with a low bone density.

Patients with osteoporotic fractures were also found to have lower magnesium levels than patients without osteoporosis.

Magnesium deficiency may impair the production of parathyroid hormone and 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D, which negatively affects the mineralization of bone.

Good dietary sources of magnesium - nuts, whole grains, dark green vegetables, fish, meat, and legumes.

Magnesium is often deficient in the standard American diet because of lack of those foods plus soil depletion from over-farming.

What about magnesium supplements?

Several studies have shown that magnesium supplementation increases bone density and reduces the incidence of fractures.  Click here, here, and here.

Supplementing with 250-400mg per day of Mg is recommended.  Click here for my preferred brand.

Magnesium glycinate is preferable over magnesium oxide because it causes less incidence of loose stools.

Please keep in mind that magnesium may interact with other supplements and medications.

Magnesium can also help with insomnia, headaches, chronic constipation, restless leg syndrome, and anxiety.

4.  Vitamin K2

Studies have shown that vitamin K2 is absolutely essential when it comes to achieving optimal bone and cardiovascular health.

According to some experts, 98% of the population is deficient in K2.

There are no commercially available tests to determine the level of vitamin K2 in the body.

Elderly patients with osteopenia are usually deficient in K2.  They need K2 to help reduce bone loss that comes with age and to maintain bone health.

In Japan, 360mcg of K2 is the primary treatment for osteoporosis – NOT bisphosphonates!

Vitamin K2 appears to help the body deposit calcium in appropriate locations like the bones and teeth and prevents it from being deposited in bad places, such as arterial walls.

Vitamin K2 has also been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 35%.

It has also been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.  

Good dietary sources of vitamin K2 - cheese, eggs, natto, butter, salami, chicken breast, ground beef

What about vitamin K2 supplements?

The MK-7 form of vitamin K2 is by far the most potent.

Since most people are also deficient in vitamin D, I have found that it is easiest to take a supplement that has vitamins A, D3, and K2 together in a single supplement capsule.  

These supplements work synergistically to strengthen bone.

Click here for my preferred brand.

5.  Strontium

Strontium is a naturally occurring mineral present in soil and seawater.  It is an alkaline earth metal similar to calcium and barium.

99% of the strontium found in the human body is in our bones.

The Spinal Osteoporosis Therapeutic Intervention study showed a 41% relative risk reduction of vertebral fractures in patients taking strontium.

This study showed a reduction in nonvertebral fractures when using strontium.

Strontium appears to decrease bone resorption and increase bone formation.

It has been shown to increase bone density in both men and women.

A radioactive form of strontium is used to treat bone cancer and prostate cancer.

There is also research that shows it reduces tooth pain and helps prevent cavities.  In fact, many commonly used toothpastes marketed for sensitive teeth contain small amounts of strontium.

Dietary sources of strontium - seafood, milk, grains, beans, spinach, celery, carrots and potatoes

What about strontium supplements for osteoporosis?

Strontium is generally well tolerated, but some concerns are begin raised in Europe over whether there is an increased cardiovascular risk when it is used long term.  It has been available as a prescription treatment for osteoporosis in Europe since 2004.

Strontium is available in the US as strontium citrate.  Click here for my preferred brand.

You will want to make sure your vitamin D level is optimized.

Do not use strontium if you are on kidney dialysis or if you have a history of severe heart disease.

This may be a viable treatment option for osteoporosis, but please be aware that long-term safety studies are lacking.

At this point, I would reserve its use for only short term use (1-3 years) until long term studies are available.

6.  Boron

Boron is a trace mineral found naturally in some foods and in the environment.

Boron reduces the excretion and absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which results in a reduction in bone loss.

Boron up-regulates the production of steroids such as vitamin D, estradiol and testosterone.

Boron has also been shown to improve brain function, reduce the incidence of arthritis, and is an effective treatment for vaginal yeast infections,

Dietary sources of boron – fruits, vegetables, soybeans, and nuts. The amount of boron in these foods depends on the soil where they are grown.

What about boron supplements for osteoporosis?

It is always best to get boron from your diet.

A safe daily intake is about 1-10mg.  Click here for my preferred brand.

Doses above 3mg per day are not recommended in breast cancer patients.

Repeated doses of small amounts can accumulate in the body, so pulse dosing is recommended over continuous dosing.

7.  Testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone that grows tissue in the body.

It is responsible for muscle growth, bone growth, hair growth, sexual function, sexual drive (libido) and is essential for overall health and feelings of well-being.

Both men and women need testosterone.

Testosterone pellet therapy has been shown to increase bone mass four-fold compared to oral estrogen.

Testosterone can be used as a bioidentical cream, an injection, or as a bioidentical subcutaneous pellet.  All of these can only be provided by a licensed medical professional.

Click here to read more.

8.  Soy Isoflavones

Isoflavones are found in soy products.  The best of these are what are called fermented soy.  They include natto, tempeh and miso.  All of these are soy products that have gone through a long fermentation process that make them easier to digest.

Natto is fermented soybeans that is sticky and has a very strong flavor.

Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and a nutty flavor.

Miso is a fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture.  You have probably had miso soup at your favorite Asian restaurant.

They are loaded with vitamin K2 which I discussed above.  They also contains boron.

Soy isoflavones significantly increase the bone density of the lumbar spine.

Diets high in soy may decrease bone resorption in postmenopausal women.

A synthetic derivative of isoflavones called iproflavone was shown to prevent rapid bone loss following early menopause.

Consuming 2-4 ounces per day of fermented soy is a reasonable thing to do to prevent and treat osteoporosis.

Keep in mind that many people are allergic or sensitive to soy.  If that is you, then this is not a good choice.

Isoflavones may also inhibit thyroid hormone synthesis.  So if you have a thyroid condition, your thyroid levels needs to be monitored if you consume fermented soy to treat your osteoporosis.

Unfermented soy which is found in tofu and other processed forms is not a healthy food option and should be avoided as a general rule.

9.  What About Calcium?

Most doctors are taught in their training to recommend calcium supplementation to help maintain bone mass.  I myself commonly told my patients in the past to take 1200mg of calcium citrate per day, especially postmenopausal women.

However, several studies have brought the benefit of calcium supplementation into question.

In this study, taking higher amounts of calcium beyond the recommended dietary allowance did not result in an increase of hip or spine bone density.

Calcium supplementation in a different study did not result in a decrease in the incidence of hip fractures in older women and even appeared to increase the risk.

A study published in JAMA in 2013 was a meta-analysis of 29 studies which showed no significant reduction in the risk of fractures with calcium supplementation. Vitamin D plus calcium did reduce the fracture risk.

Not only have these studies failed to show a benefit on bone density, some other studies have shown some dangerous consequences of taking calcium supplements:

Dangers of Calcium Supplementation

1. Cardiovascular Heart Disease -

A Johns Hopkins investigation in 2016 showed that taking calcium supplements may lead to an increased risk of plaque buildup in the coronary arteries.

Another study of 12000 men showed a 20% increase in CVD death in those taking 1000mg of calcium daily.

Eating foods that are high in calcium does not seem to have the same risk.  It is felt that the calcium from food is absorbed at a slower rate. The burst of calcium from supplements may facilitate the calcification of arteries.

Another theory is that taking more calcium than the body needs may cause it to either be excreted in the urine which increases the risk of kidney stones, or circulated in the blood where it could attach to atherosclerotic plaques or valves.

2. Kidney Stones -

The risk of kidney stones is increased by about 20% in people taking calcium supplements.  Here is another study.

3. Possibly prostate cancer -

This meta-analysis showed an increase in prostate cancer risk with a high calcium intake, but it is hard to know if it was due to the calcium or due to the high dairy intake.

4. Constipation -

A high calcium intake is well known to cause constipation.  It might also interfere with the absorption of iron and zinc.

In people with a sensitivity or allergy to dairy or other foods that are good natural sources of calcium, supplementation may be necessary.  However, I would personally limit that to only 400-600mg per day of calcium citrate.


Osteoporosis is an extremely common and dangerous condition.

It needs to be monitored closely and aggressively treated when possible.

Like most conditions that affect the human body, eating a whole-food, nutrient-dense diet and exercising regularly (especially weight-bearing exercise) are the mainstays of treatment.

Optimizing the levels in the body of vitamin D, K2, and magnesium are essential to maintain and restore bone density.  

Other options for increasing bone mass include strontium, boron, and soy isoflavones.  Optimizing testosterone levels can also help.

Calcium supplements are controversial.  I would typically suggest avoiding them and instead focus on eating foods that are naturally high in calcium.

Now it's your turn...

Have you been diagnosed with osteoporosis?

What treatments have worked for you?

Leave your questions and comments below...

About the Author Dr. Jeff Whelchel

Dr. Whelchel is a family physician who specializes in functional medicine, especially hormone optimization. He has over 20 years experience in private practice managing patients with various medical issues. His passion is helping patients reach their full potential of wellness and quality of life. He grew up in the Texas Panhandle where he currently lives. He is married and has 3 awesome children.

Leave a Comment:

Giselle says September 29, 2018

How can I get in tiuch with Dr.Whelchel..?

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says October 6, 2018

    Hi Giselle. My contact information can be found at

Flora Drapeau Drapeau says January 4, 2020

Dx with osteoporosis, osteopenia 20 years ago. Two year use of foxomax with 2 year holiday then Boniva. No fractures, very healthy dietary habits, active physically. How do you feel about prolea?

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says February 10, 2020

    Prolia has it’s place, especially if your bone density is very low.

Kathryn Schagena says January 24, 2020

Is it all right to take calcium in a blend of magnesium and vitamin D3.

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says February 10, 2020

    It probably is. They amounts of calcium in those combinations is relatively low. My primary focus would be the vitamin D, magnesium, and weight-bearing exercise. Take care.

Elaine says February 4, 2020

Can you recommend a natural supplement to best treat or reverse bone loss?

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says February 10, 2020

    In my experience, optimizing vitamin D (50-80) and daily weight-bearing exercise are the most important things to do. After that, I have have great success with testosterone therapy for increasing bone density. The other supplements in my article are helpful as well.

vitamin says February 28, 2020

Great article, I am actually working on the project that requires me to use service workers.

svop says April 1, 2020

Awesome post! Keep up the great work!

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says April 1, 2020

    Thank you for the kinds words!

Debbie Ellison says June 24, 2020

Thank you so much Dr. Whelchel. Great advice.

Roxanna Meaux says January 10, 2021

I just took the DEXA test and found out I have osteoporosis with a score of -3.3. My dr wants to put me on Monvia 150 and take calcium. Then retest in 2 years. I am 66 and in good health overall. I am taking Vit. D3 5000 and just increased it to 2 capsules because my Vit. D3 levels are very low. I just added K2 also. I think my body is not absorbing Vit D3. So I am doing research on this. Thank you.

Bénédicte Morris says January 28, 2021

I have osteoporosis suite badly. My spine is T score -3.5. It didn’t budge since 2018. My hip is still osteopenia but it increased from 1 to 2 in two years , since 2018. So I am worried. As I haven’t had any medication for 5 or 6 years, I decided to start on magnesium (400mg a day) K2 (120 ug a day). I take as well vit C, oil fish, and bit D3 (1000 units a day). Maybe I should take strontium. I am a woman of 70 years, 54kg for 1m67. I live in the U.K, but your article interests me greatly.

Dayna says February 1, 2021

What are the recommended doses of the supplements you recommend for osteoporosis? I just ordered what you recommended and do not how many
to take? I was just diagnosed with osteoporosis and know the dangers of the pharmaceutical products normally prescribed.
Thank you for your time!
Dayna Schaefer

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says April 11, 2021

    Hello Dayna. My article includes the typical or recommended doses for the supplements.

Bonnie says February 25, 2021

I would like more information and a consultation. I was just diagnosed with osteoporosis and I don’t take medications of any kind. I know that will be first mention from my Dr. Where do I start ?

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says April 11, 2021

    Unfortunately, I am no long in full time medical practice. I would suggest doing an internet search for functional medicine doctors in your area. Best of luck.

Deb says April 16, 2021

My doctor recommended I do some research on alternates to the typical meds given for osteoporosis.
I appreciate your knowledge on the subject.. Thank you & I will make reference to your article.

Lise C Switzer says May 18, 2021

Dr/Whelchel, Thank you for this very informative article. Is there a vitamin that includes all the vitamins necessary to fight osteoporosis? Thank you.

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says May 30, 2021

    I have not found a supplement personally that includes the amounts of all of the vitamins recommended for osteoporosis.

Joy Metcalf says August 20, 2021

When I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and osteopenia 3 years ago, I did not want to use pharmaceuticals. After some research, I found Dr. Keith McCormick and his book “A Whole Body Approach to Osteoporosis”. Excellent book which I highly recommend. After listening to this interview, I also made an appointment with him (he’s in Massachusetts, I’m in Maine, so not that far). I’ve been very happy (and successful) with his recommendations.

Anne Edwards says August 23, 2021

As the result of a blood test my UK doctor was advised to put me on a 6 week, 1000 whatever of calcium, for six weeks. Three weeks into it I could barely walk for the pain in my left leg. A scan later showed a blood clot (bleeding) high up in that leg. I was a vegetarian for some 30 years, and since them ate only chicken (without skin), and plenty of vegetables. When I thought about it I queried the heavy daily calcium intake and was laughed at. I am/was subsequently prescribed high dose (to my mind) calcium and vitamin d tablets daily. I do not take them. I know I have osteoporosis (snapped shoulder thanks to do, and broken wrist thanks to unlit kerb) and I am now 83 but I was so relieved to read this site and especially your doubts about calcium. As much as I can I will follow your list. I know I was right re the calcium but no one believed me. with thanks, Anne x

as the result of a blood test

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says December 22, 2021

    So sorry to hear of your troubles. Most doctors still think oral calcium replacement is invaluable. Remember, YOU are in control of your body.

Shauna says August 25, 2021

I really enjoyed your letter about osteoporosis. Thank you for your advice. I will try using some of your suggestions to help with my problem.

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says December 22, 2021

    I’m so glad the article helped you. Blessings.

Pam lucas says December 18, 2021

My deca scan shows -2.9 in my lumbar spine. Should I concentrate on the natural approach for 6 months and I then possibly try evenity or prolix if no improvement? Thank you

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says December 22, 2021

    Hi Pam. I’m really not allowed to give direct medical advice on this website. I would suggest discussing everything with your medical doctor, including the natural treatments I discussed in the article. Best of luck.

Rosie says February 19, 2022

I’m 75. Is it too late to reverse Osteoporosis (L forearm -3.7, L femural neck -2.7) and Osteopenia (L2: -2.0). I take plant calcium and tinned sardines, salmon and shellfish: and loads of green veg every day. No dairy as contraindicated for Hashimotos. Daily yoga. I have slight scoliosis which has become chronically painful. Where to turn–home treatments and/or professionals: chiro, osteopath, lazer treatments?

Jennifer Shetler says February 21, 2022

Is there any way i can get /buy a copy of this article ” The 9 best Osteoporosis Natural treatments”?
It is so good and informative. I want to change my vitamin regime to include your recommendations.
I am 77, take no medications, but just had my first bone scan 2/17/2022 and want to approach treatment naturally. My PC pushes steroids and other things i prefer not to put into my body.
i had covid in January and recovered fully without any complications. I am happily unvaccinated and plan to stay that way.

Here are the readings from my scan:

Lumber Spine BMD: 1.022 g/cm2

Lumber spine T-score: -1.3

Left total hip BMD: 0.699 g/cm2

Left Hip T- score: -2.5

Left femoral neck BMD: 0.797 g/cm2

Left Femoral neck T-score: -1.7
increasing D3 to 10,000iu
Adding more K2M7 from 45mcg to 345mcg
and will try the Strontium for a year until my next scan a year 2023.

Appreciate our input and let me know cost of consultation .
Thank you,
Jennifer Shetler
Oregon State

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says February 24, 2022

    I don’t sell copies of the article. You will just have to save the link on your computer or print it off. Unfortunately, I don’t do out of state consultations due to medical license restrictions. Perhaps you should go to and click on “Find a provider.” Best of luck.

Mette Frimodt says February 24, 2022

Dear Dr. Whelchel,
I have been reading about your suggestions on treating osteoporosis for a while now. I am 63 years old, female, 5’6″, 115lbs. I have osteoporosis:
Lumbar spine T- score -4.5, Z- score – 2.9
Left hip T- score – 3.7, Z- score – 2.6
Left femoral neck T- score – 4.0, Z- score -2.6
My doctor has recommended the medications and even if I wanted to take them I don’t think I could tolerate them.
I am physically active and have started some new weight bearing exercises. Diet is good and all organic. But I need to do more.
Your vitamin D recommendation is high it seems, 5000IU (I am at 62ng/ml), would you recommend that for me?
I am seriously thinking of taking the A D3 K2 combo and the Magnesium glycinate 120mg that you recommend.
My doctor pushes 1200mg calcium, I would like to take half of that.
Looking for advice.
Mette Frimodt

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says February 24, 2022

    5000IU of vitamin D is not high at all, actually. Most people need at least that much to get their 25-OH-vitamin D level to 50-80. A large percentage of my patients even need 10,000IU to get there.

    The data on calcium to treat osteoporosis is poor at best. The calcium from calcium supplements tends to go into artery walls more than to bones where we want it. I would recommend that you get your calcium instead from food which I discuss in the article.

Elizabeth says April 16, 2022

Thank you for this quick and informative article. I was just diagnosed with osteoporosis and am wondering what to do next. You have given me several options, and I will most likely react by doing pretty much all of them. Some I will add, and some I will increase. Especially the exercise!

Jane says June 13, 2022

Hi, I just went from osteiopeni to osteoprosis in my spine. My doctor wants me to take Osteo-K by NBI 3 caps a day and Vitamin D3 5000 Iu by Now. I was on Algea Ca for the past 6 months.
what do you think of these products. Jane

Brie says June 20, 2022

First of all, thank you so much taking the time in putting together your very informative article. I noticed that you did not mention red algae as another source. I have Leiden Five Factor and have read that that a risk factor for red algae can be a blood clot. Should I stay away from this red algae? Please do not share my email. Thank you

vpnheroes says June 21, 2022

Great content, it will help in my business Thanks for sharing useful information.

Beverly Townsend says July 13, 2022

I am concerned about the continued instructions to just keep taking levothyroxine because my tsh tests are within normal range. I asked for a referral to the Endocrinology department of a local hospital and the referral was refused because the tsh is within normal range. I still have symptoms of hypothyroidism and have a long standing resistance to losing weight regardless of a whole food, low carb and sugar food plan. I’m not sure how to find a new doctor who understands the new findings you describe in your article. How can I find out what a Dr. Knows regarding testing and the thyroid workings in general? I am wanting a full panel of tests to assess what’s going on with my thyroid and if I’m on the right medication. I read that one side affect of levothyroxine is osteoporosis which has gotten worse since taking this medication. Please help. I struggle with very easy weight gain and a legitimate resistance to weight loss. I am depressed, my hair is thinning and I am tired all the time. I feel the cold and my nails break easily. I’m a mess lol

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says July 25, 2022

    I’m sorry you are having struggles. You have a few options when searching for a doctor with extensive thyroid knowledge. I would suggest going to and click on “Find a provider.” Functional medicine doctors typically have studies thyroid management more than conventional doctors. You could also go to and click on “Find a provider.” They also are typically more aggressive at managing thyroid issues. Finally, you could contact the compounding pharmacists in your area and ask for a list of local doctors who prescribe compounded thyroid medication. Best of luck to you.

Eliza Jo says September 11, 2022

Thank you Dr Whelchel for your very helpful article…
At the beginning of last year I was diagnosed with osteoporosis… (hips in red zone, spine at lower end of yellow zone).
I am only 53, and haven’t gone through menopause so have struggled to understand why this has happened. I talked to my GP about malabsorption but she didn’t really have answer for me. She strongly recommended to go on risedronate which I didn’t do because of the scary side effects as you also mention.
Instead I started on Vit D3 50,000 once a month as prescribed and endeavoured to add more calcium to my diet, also trying to become more active.
One year later I had another scan which has shown even more decrease in bone density (very discouraging!) despite my efforts in taking a more natural path… again my GP strongly recommended the drug. We talked about the aclasta infusion instead (as I have trouble swallowing tablets) and was even booked in to have it… but the funding hadn’t come through so it is postponed for now.
I would sincerely appreciate your advice on whether to go ahead with this or not.
And would you have any ideas of the cause? My theory is that I had pregnancy osteoporosis 14 years and my body never fully recovered. (It was an extremely difficult pregnancy and I was so depleted in iron stores that I had to go to hospital to intravenous iron so probably depleted in other minerals as well?).
Thank you in advance for any insight and for sharing your knowledge.

    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says January 5, 2023

    There is really no way for me to know the cause just from your quick comment. With that said, I typically prescribe 50,000IU of vitamin D weekly, not monthly. Make sure you monitor your 25-OH-vitamin D levels. Optimal range is 50-80. I would also focus on regular weight-bearing exercise – walking, weight lifting, etc.

Julie Zimmer says December 30, 2022

Dear Dr. Jeff.,
Thank you for reaching out to help with this wide spread and scary condition. What can I say, but we are living longer.

I am 63 and in pretty good shape and I’m a real health freak — I exercise, eat healthy, etc… I also have a past medical background but became an English teacher here in Switzerland.

Here’s my osteoporosis story in a nutshell:

My T-score in my lower back is now at -2.7. Over the course of 6-ish years my scores have been up and down. I was treated for 2 years with prolia, but that medication wasn’t sustainable and the T-score in my lower spine decreased after discontinuation of the drug, so I had the urgent IV treatment with diphosphate drug to consolidate everything and that held nicely for another 2 years.

I just got my last T-score (-2.7) result a few weeks ago and my doctor will want to treat me with medication again and I don’t want to. I also have some osteopenia in femur.

What I am trying to say is that those drug treatments are scary. I want to find a natural solution, but here in Switzerland, it isn’t easy ( I’m a Canadian living in Geneva, Switzerland). My pharmacist is looking into some natural alternatives and will get back to me next week.

Meanwhile, I came across this supplement called : VITAMIN CODE GROW BONE SYSTEM. Please, let me know what you think about it. Apparently you have to take a lot several times a day for results, so I don’t know if this is a good idea to take long term, but I’ve been reading on it and people have been getting positive results. I’m just not sure about toxicity in taking so much of it.

Thanks so much for getting back to me.

I am sorry for writing this message in a slight rush. I hope it is clear enough.

Take care,


    Dr. Jeff Whelchel says January 5, 2023

    Garden of Life makes very good supplements. I have no problem with you trying their Grow Bone System. It contains many of the supplements that I recommend in the article. Best of luck!

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